Keeping scorpions as pets

This page has information about keeping a scorpion as a pet in the Northern Territory (NT). 

You need a permit to keep a scorpion in the NT.

Scorpions are a protected species in the NT. 

You will need a separate permit if you want to import or export scorpions into the NT. 

You also need a separate permit if you are taking a scorpion from the wild.

Housing scorpions

Scorpions can't climb, so a smooth glass or plastic aquarium or container is great for housing. 

A lid should be used to stop live food escaping. 

Place soil or gravel on the bottom of the enclosure, as well as sticks, stones or bark, for the scorpion to climb on or hide in. 

You may need to put a heat pad underneath the enclosure, but this depends where you live and the species of scorpion that you own.

Scorpions need humid conditions, which can be created by spraying mist into the enclosure each day. Be careful that the container is not wet.

Feeding scorpions

Scorpions only eat live foods, such as crickets, cockroaches, blowflies, mealworms, beetles or baby mice. 

They are usually fed once a fortnight, although this depends on the size of the animal. 

Be careful of overfeeding or underfeeding as this may cause death. 

If the scorpion eats all the food that is offered, you may need to increase the amount that you give. 

If the scorpion doesn’t eat, it is better to remove the food and wait a few days before feeding again.

Scorpions will drink from a cotton wool ball that is soaked in water.

Scorpion food should be checked for mites. Mites are the main threat to scorpion health.

Handling scorpions

You should not handle your scorpion as there is a high risk of being stung or grabbed by the scorpion’s pincers. Or you may injure your pet.

Most scorpions won't seriously harm humans, although the level of toxicity of the venom varies with each scorpion species. 

If you are stung or injured, clean the wound with antiseptic. Apply a cool cloth or ice pack to the area at 10 minute intervals. 

If you start having any type of severe reaction to a sting, seek medical attention immediately.

Last updated: 15 February 2016

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